How to use the Wise card in Thailand 2024
If you’re heading off to Thailand - to hit the beaches, hang out with elephants, or soak up the atmosphere in the vibrant cities - you need smart and simple ways to spend in Thai baht while you’re there.
With the Wise card, you could cut the costs of currency exchange to do more with your money while you’re away - this guide explains how. Well walk through how to use your Wise card, the fees, limits and some handy tips to save when transacting overseas.
Is it possible to use my Wise card in Thailand?
You can use your Wise card to spend and make cash withdrawals in Thailand and around 150 other countries globally. Just look out for the Visa/Mastercard logo at merchant payment terminals or on ATMs.
Using the Wise card should be just as easy as using your bank card in Thailand - but you could find you save money as there’s no foreign transaction fee to pay with Wise. Plus, you’ll avoid the pitfall of DCC (dynamic currency conversion). That’s where a merchant or ATM converts your ringgit to the local currency instead of your bank or card provider.
DCC usually means a hiked up exchange rate and higher fees - but the Wise card cuts this out by automatically converting to the local currency wherever you are when you pay.
About the Wise card
The Wise card is an international debit card linked to a digital multi-currency account you can manage from your phone. You can add money to Wise in ringgit from your bank or with a card, and then either convert to Thai Baht (THB) in advance or let the card do the job for you when you spend. In either case you get the mid-market exchange rate and low, transparent fees from 0.43%, with no separate foreign transaction fee to pay.
How does the Wise card work?
In short, your Wise card works like any other credit or debit card you may have in your wallet. The difference is that it’s been optimized for international use, which means it offers options to hold, exchange and spend foreign currencies with low overall costs.
As with other debit cards you’ll need to add money to Wise before you can spend - but you can then choose to move your money to THB or one of the 40+ other currencies, or leave it in ringgit and let the card convert for you.
Once you have a balance in your Wise card you can tap to pay in stores, and use your card to make cash withdrawals when you need to.
Read also: Wise debit card review
Fees for using the Wise card in Thailand
There’s no fee to open a Wise personal account - and once your account is verified you can add a balance and order your Wise card for a one time fee of 13.70 MYR.
There are no ongoing charges or minimum balance requirements so you can use your card as and when you need to, and only pay for the services you need.
It’s free to spend from your Wise balances when you have enough balance for your purchase. And if you don’t have money in the currency required, Wise uses smart conversion technology to convert from the currency with the lowest possible fee, with the mid-market exchange rate.
Here’s a run through of the key fees you need to know about when using the Wise card. We’ll cover ATM cash withdrawals, fees and limits later on.
|Wise card fee
|Order a Wise card
|Spend a currency you hold enough balance in
|Spend in a currency you don’t hold
|Currency conversion fees from 0.43%
|Order a replacement card
No fee to replace an expiring card
13.70 MYR for a replacement at any other time
Fees correct at time of writing - 15th January 2024
How to withdraw money in Thailand with a Wise card
You’ll need cash when traveling in Thailand, for smaller value purchases, spending in markets and tipping. Wise can help here too.
Here’s how to make ATM withdrawals from Wise card when you’re travelling overseas:
Find a convenient ATM which supports the network your Wise card is issued on (Visa or MasterCard)
Insert your card and select the option to make a withdrawal
Enter the amount you want to withdraw
Enter your PIN for security
Your money will be dispensed and your card will be returned
Wise ATM withdrawal limits
When you make cash withdrawals you’ll be able to make 2 withdrawals to the value of 1000 MYR (or the equivalent) per month fee free, then low fees apply - we’ll look at those next.
On top of this, there are some withdrawal limits of Wise which apply for security reasons. You’ll find your limits are set to a default amount when you get your card, but you can then adjust the limits according to your preference in the Wise app. Limits apply on a single payment basis, daily and monthly.
To view and change your Wise card ATM withdrawal limits in the Wise app:
Log in on the Wise app and select the Cards tab
Tap Account limits and the type of transaction - ATM withdrawals
Select the button to change the limit within the Wise maximum available limit range
Here are the Wise ATM withdrawal limits for Wise cards issued in Malaysia, on a single payment, daily and monthly basis:
|Default ATM withdrawal limit
|Maximum ATM withdrawal limit
* Details correct at time of writing - 15th January 2024
Wise card ATM withdrawal fees
As we’ve mentioned, there are also some ATM withdrawal fees once you’ve exhausted your monthly free withdrawal allowance. The good news is that when you withdraw with Wise you’ll still get the mid-market exchange rate, and low, transparent conversion fees, which can mean it works out cheaper to get cash with your Wise card compared to using your bank card.
Here’s a summary of the Wise ATM withdrawal fees:
|Wise card fee
2 withdrawals, to the value of 1000 MYR a month fee free
After that a fee of 5 MYR + 1.75% of the withdrawal value applies
* Details correct at time of writing - 15th January 2024
Another important point to note is that DCC - which we described earlier - can also crop up at the ATM. If you see a message flash up asking if you’d rather pay for your withdrawal in ringgit rather than baht, don’t be fooled. It sounds like a nice offer - but it’ll mean you pay more in the end thanks to a poor exchange rate and potential hidden fees.
How to get a Wise card: step by step
You can open a Wise account and order your card online or with your phone - with no need to head to a bank or other physical location to get verified. You’ll need to have a valid email address, a proof of residence, a working smartphone, and a valid ID document, like your MyKad - and you’re good to go.
On the Wise app
The easiest way to open your Wise account and order your Wise card is in the Wise app - you can just use your phone to snap a photo of your ID documents for verification. Here’s the process:
Log into your Wise account on the Wise app
Tap the Cards tab
Tap the Order card option and add your chosen currency balance
You may be prompted to upload your ID and proof of address if your account has not been fully verified
Pay the one time 13.70 MYR card order fee
Your card will arrive by post within 14 working days and you’ll receive an email when your card is on the way. You’ll need to activate your card before you can use it.
On the site
Alternatively you can order your Wise card online by heading over to the Wise desktop site. Here’s what you’ll need to do:
Visit the Wise desktop site and log into your Wise account
Click the Cards tab
Click the Order card option
You may be prompted to upload your ID, like your passport or MyKad and proof of address if your account has not been fully verified
Pay the one time 13.70 MYR card order fee
How do I activate my Wise card?
Once your physical Wise card has arrived in the mail you’ll need to activate it. Bear in mind that this step must be taken in Malaysia - if you’ve ordered your card ready for your trip to Thailand be sure to complete activation before you hop on a plane, so your card is ready to use on arrival.
Here’s how to activate your Wise card in Malaysia:
Log into to your Wise account
If you’re on the website, go to Debit card. If you’re on the app, go to Account, then click the card icon at the top of the screen
Enter the 6-digit code that’s on the card below your name
How do I add money on the Wise card?
To use your Wise card you’ll first need to add some money to your linked Wise digital multi-currency account.
This is easy to do - and again, everything can be arranged with just your phone or laptop. In Malaysia, you can top up your Wise account by bank transfer or FPX. Different fees apply depending on the payment method you pick, but you’ll see all your options before you confirm so you can compare.
Here’s how to add money to Wise card:
Log into your Wise account online or in the Wise app
Select the currency balance you want to top up
Confirm the currency you want to pay with
Enter the amount you want to top up and select a payment method
Check everything over, confirm and follow the prompts to complete the payment
Additionally, if you have money in your account in another currency, such as Malaysian Ringgit, you can also convert your money from MYR to Thai Baht using mid-market exchange rate with low conversion fees.
Is it safe to use the Wise card in Thailand?
Wise is a safe company to use, and regulated by Bank Negara Malaysia. As a global business, it’s also overseen by other similar regulatory bodies all over the world. That means Wise must stick to strict standards to keep customers and their money safe.
As well as complying with regulatory requirements, Wise accounts and cards also have some neat in-built security features. You’ll be able to view your account at any time in the app, and set up transaction alerts so you’re always on top of what’s happening with your money. You can freeze or unfreeze your card in an instant in the app too - or cancel it and order a new one if you’re ever concerned it has been compromised.
Use Google Pay or Apple Pay and spend with your phone
In many countries, Wise customers can get a digital card as well as their virtual card for mobile spending with a wallet like Google or Apple Pay - just tap and pay with your phone or smart device.
You can also use your Wise account and card in Malaysia to hold MYR, and make purchases. Learn more here: How to use Wise card in Malaysia
Advantages of using the Wise card in Thailand
Using your Wise card in Thailand can mean you spend less overall on currency conversion and foreign transaction fees compared to using your bank card. Wise cards have been designed for easy, low cost payments and withdrawals overseas, with mid-market exchange rates and low conversion costs.
Here are another few tips to help make sure your money goes as far as possible when spending in Thai Baht (THB) in Thailan:
Top up in ringgit and you can switch over to THB in advance if you spot a good exchange rate
If you’d prefer you can leave your money in MYR and let the card convert for you with the mid-market rate when you pay
Remember to always pay in the local currency wherever you are, to avoid DCC costs
Conclusion: is it worth using your Wise card in Thailand?
Wise card is one of the best international debit cards in Malaysia. Getting a Wise card can be a good idea for anyone who travels or spends online in foreign currencies.
If you’re planning a trip to Thailand, a Wise card is a secure and low cost way to manage your travel budget. You’ll be able to either convert your money to Thai Baht (THB) in advance if you want to see your budget in local currency in advance - or just leave your money in ringgit for the card to convert when you pay for things.
In either case, all currency conversion uses the mid-market rate and low, transparent fees from 0.43% - with no maintenance costs or minimum balances to worry about.
Order your card online or in the Wise app today, and see how much you can save.
How to use a Wise card in Thailand: FAQ
How can I use my Wise card in Thailand?
Use your Wise card in Thailand to spend and make withdrawals in THB, just as easily as you’d use your bank card at home. Top up in MYR, and convert your balance to THB with the mid-market rate and low fees, either in advance, or when you pay and make withdrawals.
Where can I use my Wise card in Thailand?
To use your Wise card in Thailand just look out for the Mastercard or Visa logo on ATMs or at payment terminals in stores and restaurants. Both Mastercard and Visa are globally accepted, so you should have no problem finding merchants and ATMs which can accept your card.
How can I withdraw money with my Wise card in Thailand?
Make cash withdrawals in Thailand, by inserting your card into an ATM that supports your card network, entering your PIN and selecting the amount you want to withdraw. Remember to pay in the local currency to avoid extra costs due to DCC.